YOLK LORE Comes to the Boulder Theater in October

The performance is on Wednesday, October 30, 2024.

By: Jun. 18, 2024
YOLK LORE Comes to the Boulder Theater in October
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Yoke Lore comes to the Boulder Theater with Runnner this October. The performance is on Wednesday, October 30, 2024.

The I-Ching, often translated as The Book of Change, is an ancient Chinese divination text that maps out 64 transitions that you could possibly be going through at any time, reflected in the form of hexagrams. Los Angeles-based Adrian Galvin, who performs ecstatic folk pop as Yoke Lore, views his debut record Toward a Never Ending New Beginning, as his own book of change. It is the definition of a life as a set of transitions: from celebrations to moments of sadness to moments of stillness. All of it is connected, all of it is related. 

Galvin has been immersed in music for his whole life. He grew up in New York, to a highly creative, intensely spiritual family. His Jewish mother was a filmmaker who ran Hebrew school classes out of his childhood home. His Catholic father worked as a therepist and a sculptor. Shabbat dinners involved lots of singing, an embrace of the spiritual and the ancient by way of song. Amidst his journey in music, Galvin also explored dance and co-founded the dance company Boomerang in the mid 2010’s. Growing up with photographers and painters in his family, he was immersed in the visual arts from a young age. Galvin draws nearly all of the visual art for the project. In his words, “Yoke Lore is a cohesive form of expression assembled from a life of dabbling in the becoming.”

When it came time to head off to college, Galvin chose Kenyon, a small liberal arts college in Ohio, where he met the members of his first band, and joined Walk The Moon as their drummer. When the band had their first hit song, “Anna Sun,” about professing loveloss to his sophomore year sociology professor by the same name, Galvin dropped out of school and the band went on the road. Galvin eventually stepped away from Walk The Moon, and worked towards figuring out what he wanted from music next. He stuidied meditation in India, taught yoga all over the world, started a screamo folk band called Poor Remy, and picked up the banjo after a trip to Boone, North Carolina to visit an aunt. 

Banjo became a guiding light for Galvin, it is the instrument that has shaped Yoke Lore. The banjo is a storied instrument in the mythos of American music, a populist instrument, deliverance set to five strings. When Galvin started Yoke Lore in earnest, much of the sound was piloted around the banjo and his exploration of what he could express with it. Galvin’s rise has been unfaltering, becoming increasingly notable in the indie universe over time. Yoke Lore’s “Goodpain,” and “Ride,” charted #1 on College Radio. “Beige,” which was first released in 2017, went Gold in multiple countries recently following a nod from Taylor Swift and a viral TikTok run. He has racked up over 10 million views on YouTube and 500 million streams on Spotify. 

He started writing the songs for Toward a Never Ending New Beginning in the late 2010s, and finished an earlier version of the record right before the pandemic started. But then everything changed. Suddenly the music he had written had lost some of its resonance. He took some time away from it. He made an original score for the movie ‘Pink Skies Ahead’ (released by MTV Entertainment), and also wrote all the music for the AppleTV childrens series ‘Get Rolling With Otis.’ Then he went back to Yoke Lore: penning hundreds of songs in a bubble of persistent seclusion. Galvin also went through two major break ups around this time: with a long time manager and a serious girlfriend. All of that went into the music, infused itself into the sonics. “I want to tell stories about how memories, relationships, apprehensions, and big dreams hold us together. I think that exploring universal experiences both emotional and spiritual is best conveyed through the potency of personal narrative. And music wields a power to render the very personal, epic.”

“Winona” is the first single from the forthcoming album. The song is a billowing melody of frantic banjo strums and roaring percussion. It’s a bittersweet attempt to understand the all too human habit of self-sabotage. It’s a song about heartache and a yearning for a love that now only exists in one’s memories. But true to his desire to make such introspections transcendent, Galvin doesn’t stop there, pin-pointing his desperation for love as one of the reasons things didn’t work out in the first place. “But she said love can’t just be an escape, cause then it’s not the real thing,” he croons over the racing acoustic riffs. 

“Shake,” is the record’s second single. One day Galvin unmoored and living in Brooklyn, was laying around and he came across an ancient Chinese oracle called the I-Ching or Book of Change. He threw some coins and divined a hexagram made up of six stacked lines. It was called Zhen or Shake. It told him that he was at an inflection point. It demanded that he shake himself up out of the malaise or things would go septic. The image of shake is a thunderbolt, of light rising from the east, of beginnings. We all go through periods of stale stagnation. We all experience the alluring pull of inertia. But you never drink from a sitting pool of water. That's where bacteria and disease breeds. Our bodies and our lives have to be lived in motion. Time is a cycle, life is a continuum, and we are never the same person we were yesterday. If we stay the same, we fail to grow, we get brittle in the body, we get stubborn in the mind, and we go blind in the heart. By embracing the flux inherent in our nature, we can find some harmony. “Shake” is a pristine pop track, synthesizers variegate, Galvin’s vocals are clear, self-aware, earnest. 

Galvin discovers how his songs feel by playing them live for people. He’s a prolific touring artist, having opened for artists such as Bastille, Bishop Briggs, Mt. Joy, Goth Babe among others. Seeing how his music affects his audience teaches him about how his music works.




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